September 29, 2014

Guild Show & Tell - September

Earlier this month my quilt guild had their monthly meeting so I'm sharing some photos from the show and tell.

My personal favourite was this super fun crazy quilt, by one of our Danish members.

Also extremely popular was this beautiful, hand-sewn and hand-quilted Dear Jane quilt.

There was also an art quilt shown, called Movement in Red (translated).

And my Haberdashery group showed off our finished Persian Pickle wallhangings, which you can see in more detail here.

September 21, 2014

Hooked on Crochet!

I'm so excited!

Around New Years this year, my friend Ingrid and I decided that we wanted to learn to crochet.  Our plan was to learn from her mum, Birgitta.  Well, it's now September and neither of us had really done much about learning to crochet.  A couple of weeks ago, Ingrid had her mum show her the basics, then while out in the shops, we came across some cheap crochet hooks and I picked up one and a ball of yarn.  There is sat for about the last two weeks.

Well, I finally picked up hook and yarn and with the help of YouTube (seriously, what can't you learn on YouTube these days?!), I taught myself to crochet in a few hours and I've been obsessed ever since!  That first night I crocheted to midnight before I convinced myself to put it down and get some sleep.  Then the next morning, realising I'd dropped some stitches along the rows, I ripped most of it out and started again (and again and again until I got it right).

My first crochet square!

Feeling confident in my budding skills, I quickly decided to move on to the double crochet stitch and I did up a second square using just that stitch.

Double crochet square.

These are the YouTube videos I used to learn the basic stitches - they were very easy to follow with clear instructions and close-up images.

Crochet for Beginners - Part 1: Chain Stitch & Single Crochet Stitch
Crochet for Beginners - Part 2: Double Crochet Stitch, Half Double Crochet Stitch, Triple Crochet Stitch and Slip Stitch
Beginner Crochet #9: Double Crochet Stitch (this was good to learn how to start the second DC row)
Beginner Crochet #12: Slip Stitch

Finally, I was feeling ready to start a small project and learn to read a crochet pattern.  I found the perfect choice: a mug cosy!  It always irritates me when I go out to restaurants and they serve tea in a glass instead of a mug, which results in uncomfortably hot fingers or wrapping an insecure napkin around the glass.  So this little project is going into my handbag for just such occasions.

Mug Cosy

Very simple to make, it used the chain stitch, single crochet stitch and slip stitch and I learnt how to crochet a button hole, decrease and of course added the button.  So pleased with myself!

If you'd like to make your own mug cosy, the free pattern is available here.  Note: I skipped the final step of crocheting around the edges, since I was running low on yarn.

Mr. Fox Kit

Hello, hello!

It's time to share September's scrapbooking kit theme from the Scrap Stash Kit Club.  Meet Mr. Fox:

Mr. Fox - September Kit

This yummy kit combines bold oranges with cream and grey neutrals for a truly autumnal flavour that will last from back-to-school projects to Thanksgiving and all the way through Hallowe'en and into November.  This kit theme would be the perfect opportunity to add in wood veneer accents, some fibres such as twine or ribbon and sprinkles of gold (but really, what can't you add gold to?!).

Want more inspiration?  Margareta has also created a Pinterest Lookbook.  Are you more of an auditory intelligence person - try the Spotify Mr. Fox playlist.

Now, go create your kit!

September 14, 2014

Kiva - August 2014

Hello and welcome back!  I'm quite excited about my August donation.  I've been wanting to support an educational cause for some time now and Rosalba's story really jumped out.

Rosalba (Colombia)

A loan of $800 helps Rosalba to buy educational material for the children in her daycare.

Rosalba is a community mother who dedicates her life to helping others. She works with children, caring for them while their mothers work. They are low income people and have government help. Her work is to be admired, because it is not well paid. Her services provide her with what she needs to live. She doesn't seek luxuries, she only wants to offer a service.

She is asking for a loan to buy educational materials for the children. It is a beautiful thing that Rosalba will help all the people who have children with the loan, paying for it with a great community united for the same cause.

Her dream is to get ahead with her family and to see those neighborhood children grow and to guide them down the right path.

I'm happy to say that I was one of the final people to fulfill Rosalba's loan amount.  I also wanted to share with you a new video that perfectly demonstrates the brilliance behind Kiva:

Join Kiva today!

September 10, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Hello, hello!

I'm excited to announce that I've finally started on the final month blocks for my Nice People, Nice Things embroidery quilt!  Last weekend I stitched up the first picture block - so cheery.

 One down, eleven more to go!

Linking up to Freshly Pieced:


September 08, 2014

Happy B-Lated B-Day Card

Hello, hello!

I recently bought a fantastic new punch - Fiskars' large hexagon punch, which was the inspiration for this rather belated birthday card.  I knew I wanted to have some fun playing around with my new toy and naturally when one thinks of hexagons, one tends to think of honeycombs.  A little play on words with the bee theme and I was off!

I kept the background a simple cream with some mist and gold lame spatters and a machine stitched, wobbly border.  For the hexies I used a bold geometric print paper.  Next I stamped the sentiment directly onto the background and finally layered up my bee sticker plus some gold sequins and rhinestones to suggest glittering honey.  And of course the little bee needed some whimsical flight lines.

Oh, and I couldn't resist adding in a little 'Hope you had a 'sweet' birthday' in the sentiment.  ;)

Kiva - July 2014

Okay, last catch-up on my recent Kiva loans (can I still claim it's recent, even if I'm a month late in posting?)

Andres (Mexico)

A loan of $4,625 helped Andres to produce organic cucumber.

Andres is a 24-year-old rural entrepreneur from Yecapixtla, México. Andres has been working for Truequio, a cooperative that produces organic cucumber for the past 2 years.

Andres is asking for a loan to start producing organic cucumber on his own and become part of the cooperative he now works for. With this loan, he will be able to rent a greenhouse and buy seeds and some machinery.

Laura, Andres’s 22-year-old sister will help him with the cucumber. They are the first two members of their family to earn a college degree and instead of looking for a job away from their hometown they want create jobs in their community.

Laura and Andres still live in their parents’ house where they have set up a small greenhouse in order to try different types of seeds and agricultural practices. Andrés and Laura’s goal is to earn enough money to buy their own greenhouse and expand their production and employ more people in their community.

September 05, 2014

Odense Quilt Exhibition

Are you ready for some photo love?

Last weekend my quilt guild took a day trip to Odense, Denmark for the Danish guild's quilt exhibition.  Quilting and sewing vendors from throughout Scandinavia and Northern Europe were there, along with a lovely exhibition of completed quilts on display.  It was a lovely day out and my friends and I couldn't believe just how quickly the day passed by.

A glimpse among the vendor stalls.

Despite all of wonderful shops, I kept my shopping to a minimum (let's be honest, I really don't need anything more right now...)  Here's my very modest haul for the day: 1m of adorable fox and raccoon fabric, a Fiskars hexie punch (for both scrapbooking and quilting), a brooch and a bottle of Best Press starch (Carribean Sea scent).

 And then on to the exhibition...

The Danish guild had organised a themed challenge featuring bicycles and what amazing projects were created for it!  I did quite enjoy the first place winner (below), just a shame that the lovely hand stitched details were rather lost in the distance.

#1 Winner

#1 Winner - Detail

This was my favourite, the third place winner.  The stamp design is such a clever idea and the black, white and red makes for a dramatic contrast.  The details are just so exact and I love the embroidery on the skirt guard and the metal accents for the bolt nuts.

#3 Winner - My Favourite!

And with this being the centennial of WWI, poppies are all the rage right now, as seen by these stunning beauties.

This particular poppy quilt was just stunning - an art quilt with layering that played with the light and shadows, cut into sections and held together with fancy hooks and eyes.

And another amazing art quilt:

And how about this inchie quilt?

Or how about embroidered bees with 3-dimensional, stitched wings?

And the patchwork quilts were equally fantastic, such as this rainbow beauty:

And of course I had to have a photo of this colourful quilt with the cute owls in the top and bottom borders:

And this applique quilt was truly mind-bloggingly:

Now just looking forward to my own guild's exhibition end of this month.

September 03, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Welcome back to another WIP Wednesday!

I've been continuing to make more progress on my Nice People, Nice Things embroidery blocks and have completed the phrases for month #8 - whoot!

Nice People, Nice Things - phrases #8

I always find the phrases harder to get through than the pictures because let's face it, they're not nearly as interesting or pretty as the pictures.  But they're done and just one more month's worth of blocks to go.  In the home stretch now!

Linking up to Freshly Pieced: